The public is invited to take a walk through a productive blueberry barren on the edge of Sennebec Pond to explore the link between pollinators and Maine blueberry production.

Francis Drummond, professor of Insect Ecology and Insect Pest Management and Blueberry Extension Pollination Specialist, will join Georges River Land Trust on Friday, July 21, at 4 p.m. in Appleton to discuss wild blueberry production and the its link with pollination. Dr. Drummond’s research topics have included wild blueberry production, blueberry plant reproductive ecology, agricultural production practices that affect pollination and vegetative growth, and evolutionary trade-offs in flowering.

Maine blueberry producers depend on bees to pollinate this cash crop. Blueberries fail to produce large quantities of berries without pollination. This means blueberry producers must bring in hives of bees to pollinate these fields. In recent years Colony Collapse Disorder has led declines in bee numbers and an increase in pollination costs to Maine producers. Dr. Drummond will discuss the challenges facing pollinators like honeybees and the effect on Maine blueberries.

Bring your cameras for the beautiful view. Directions from north: From Route 131 in Appleton Center turn left onto Sennebec Road. Drive 1.9 miles and turn right onto Gushee Road. Then turn left a few hundred yards in to reach the destination. From the south: Drive North on Sennebec Road from Route 17 for 3.7 miles and take a left on Gushee Road. Then turn left a few hundred yards in to reach the destination.

This walk is organized in cooperation with the University of Maine and is free and open to the public. For more information about programs, trails, events, and membership visit GeorgesRiver.org or call 594-5166.